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Where To Find The Best Food In Montreal


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Viv Mccombs



Welcome to Montreal, a vibrant and multicultural city that is a paradise for food lovers. Known for its diverse culinary scene, Montreal offers a tantalizing array of flavors, from traditional French cuisine to international delicacies. Exploring the food scene in this city is like embarking on a gastronomic adventure, where you can indulge in mouthwatering dishes and discover hidden gems that will leave you craving for more.


Montreal is a city that celebrates culinary creativity and innovation, making it a hot spot for food enthusiasts from around the world. Whether you’re a fan of fine dining, street food, or exploring local markets, there’s something for everyone in Montreal’s food landscape.


In this article, we will take you on a culinary journey through the best food experiences in Montreal. From popular dining neighborhoods to iconic dishes, hidden gem eateries to ethnic cuisine hotspots, trendy cafes to food markets, and everything in between, we’ll guide you to the must-visit places that will satisfy your taste buds and awaken your senses.


So, get ready to feast your eyes and whet your appetite as we delve into the vibrant and delicious world of food in Montreal.


Popular Dining Neighborhoods in Montreal

Montreal is a city that takes great pride in its culinary scene, and you can find a plethora of dining options in various neighborhoods throughout the city. Here are a few popular dining neighborhoods that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Plateau-Mont-Royal: This bohemian neighborhood is known for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse culinary offerings. You can find everything from trendy cafes and brunch spots to cozy bistros and international cuisines. Avenue Mont-Royal is a hotspot for food lovers with its array of restaurants, showcasing flavors from around the world.
  • Old Montreal: Step into the historical heart of the city and discover a mix of fine dining establishments and charming eateries nestled in the cobblestone streets. Enjoy classic French cuisine, Quebecois specialties, and fusion dishes while immersing yourself in the architectural beauty of this enchanting neighborhood.
  • Mile End: Known for its hip and artsy vibe, Mile End is a food lover’s paradise. You’ll find a blend of traditional Jewish delis, famous bagel shops, trendy coffee houses, and eclectic restaurants serving up innovative cuisine. Don’t miss out on trying the legendary Montreal-style bagels and smoked meat sandwiches.
  • Little Italy: As the name suggests, this neighborhood is a haven for Italian food lovers. Enjoy authentic wood-fired pizzas, freshly made pasta, and delectable gelato in the cozy ambiance of trattorias and cafes. Don’t forget to explore Jean-Talon Market, one of the city’s oldest and largest farmers’ markets, for a bite of local produce and specialties.
  • Griffintown: This up-and-coming neighborhood offers a mix of trendy restaurants, cocktail bars, and gastropubs. From modern Canadian cuisine to fusion dishes influenced by global flavors, Griffintown has something for every palate. It’s the perfect place to indulge in a memorable dining experience.

These are just a few of the popular dining neighborhoods in Montreal, each with its own unique culinary offerings and ambiance. Take the time to explore these areas and discover the flavors that make Montreal a true food lover’s paradise.


Iconic Montreal Dishes to Try

When visiting Montreal, there are certain iconic dishes that you simply cannot miss. These dishes represent the essence of the city’s culinary heritage and are a must-try for any food lover:

  • Poutine: A beloved Canadian dish, poutine is a heavenly combination of crispy french fries, cheese curds, and rich gravy. Indulge in the classic version or try creative variations with added toppings like smoked meat, bacon, or mushrooms.
  • Montreal-style Bagels: Montreal is famous for its unique style of bagels. These bagels are hand-rolled, boiled in honey-infused water, and then baked in a wood-fired oven. They have a slightly sweeter and denser texture compared to New York-style bagels, and are often enjoyed with cream cheese or smoked salmon.
  • Smoked Meat Sandwich: Another Montreal specialty, the smoked meat sandwich is a true carnivore’s delight. It features thinly sliced, flavorful smoked beef piled high on rye bread, accompanied by mustard and pickles. The smoky and tender meat is a taste sensation that should not be missed.
  • Tourtière: This traditional Quebecois meat pie is a staple during the holiday season. Made with a flaky pastry crust and filled with a mix of ground meat, onions, and spices, it’s a comforting and hearty dish that showcases the region’s culinary heritage.
  • Bagel and Lox: Montreal-style bagels are not complete without a generous serving of lox. Enjoy a bagel topped with slices of smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onions, capers, and a squeeze of lemon. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures that will leave you craving for more.

These iconic Montreal dishes offer a glimpse into the city’s culinary traditions and are a testament to its rich and diverse food culture. Make sure to try at least a few of these delicacies during your visit to truly experience the flavors that define Montreal.


Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Montreal

For those seeking an exquisite and memorable dining experience, Montreal is home to a number of exceptional fine dining establishments. These restaurants showcase the culinary talents of world-renowned chefs and offer a combination of impeccable service, creative menus, and elegant ambiance. Here are a few of the best fine dining restaurants in Montreal:

  • Toqué: This acclaimed restaurant, led by Chef Normand Laprise, has been a pioneer in the Montreal dining scene for over 25 years. Toqué is known for its innovative and seasonal tasting menus that highlight local ingredients and showcase Chef Laprise’s culinary expertise.
  • Le Club Chasse et Pêche: Located in Old Montreal, this restaurant offers a luxurious dining experience with its elegant decor and refined cuisine. The menu features a combination of game meats, fresh seafood, and inventive flavors, all expertly prepared by the talented culinary team.
  • Rosélys: Situated in the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel, Rosélys offers a contemporary and elegant dining experience. The menu focuses on locally sourced ingredients and showcases the flavors of Quebec cuisine with a modern twist.
  • Au Pied de Cochon: Known for its indulgent and decadent dishes, this rustic-chic restaurant is a must-visit for meat lovers. Chef Martin Picard celebrates Quebecois cuisine with dishes like foie gras poutine, duck in a can, and maple syrup desserts.
  • Europea: Helmed by celebrated chef Jérôme Ferrer, Europea offers a gourmet experience that combines French culinary techniques with global flavors. The elegant and artistic plates are complemented by an extensive wine list, making it a top choice for special occasions.

These fine dining establishments in Montreal are known for their exceptional culinary creations, sophisticated ambiance, and commitment to providing a memorable dining experience. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking to indulge in a gastronomic feast, these restaurants are sure to leave a lasting impression.


Hidden Gem Eateries Off the Beaten Path

While Montreal is known for its popular dining destinations, the city also hides a treasure trove of hidden gem eateries that offer unique and flavorful experiences. These off-the-beaten-path establishments may be tucked away in unassuming locations, but they are well worth seeking out. Here are a few hidden gem eateries in Montreal:

  • Marconi: Located in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie neighborhood, Marconi is a cozy and inventive neighborhood bistro. The menu showcases seasonal ingredients, and the dishes are beautifully presented. Don’t miss their house-made pastas and delectable desserts.
  • Le Comptoir: This unpretentious eatery in the Saint-Henri neighborhood offers a casual and welcoming atmosphere. They specialize in Mediterranean-inspired dishes with a focus on fresh seafood and vibrant flavors. Their mezzes and grilled octopus are highly recommended.
  • Masala dosa: For a taste of authentic South Indian cuisine, head to one of the many small, family-run Indian restaurants in the Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood. Try the masala dosa, a crispy rice pancake filled with spiced potatoes, served with chutneys and sambar.
  • Le Petit Alep: Tucked away in the Villeray neighborhood, Le Petit Alep serves up delicious and affordable Syrian and Armenian cuisine. Their menu features flavorful dishes like kebabs, stuffed grape leaves, and aromatic spices. Don’t forget to try their famous Aleppo ice cream for dessert.
  • Ma Poule Mouillée: This hidden gem in the Quartier Latin specializes in mouthwatering Portuguese-style rotisserie chicken – succulent, tender, and packed with flavor. Pair it with their homemade piri piri sauce and enjoy a satisfying and affordable meal.

These hidden gem eateries offer a chance to venture off the typical tourist path and discover unique flavors and culinary traditions. From neighborhood bistros to family-run ethnic restaurants, these establishments provide an authentic and memorable dining experience that captures the essence of Montreal’s diverse food culture.


Ethnic Cuisine Hotspots in Montreal

Montreal is a melting pot of cultures, and its ethnic cuisine scene reflects the city’s diverse population. From Lebanese and Vietnamese to Ethiopian and Mexican, you can find a wide range of international flavors and authentic dishes. Here are some ethnic cuisine hotspots in Montreal:

  • Chinatown: Montreal’s Chinatown is a vibrant neighborhood where you’ll find an array of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai restaurants. Indulge in dim sum, noodle soups, and delicious dumplings at one of the many bustling eateries.
  • Little India: Located along Jean-Talon Street, Little India is a haven for Indian cuisine. Explore the fragrant spices and flavors of authentic Indian dishes such as butter chicken, biryani, and masala dosas.
  • Little Italy: As mentioned earlier, Little Italy is a popular neighborhood for Italian food. Enjoy traditional Italian dishes like pasta, pizza, and gelato while soaking in the neighborhood’s charming ambiance.
  • Latin Quarter: Dive into the vibrant food scene of the Latin Quarter, where you’ll find a mix of Mexican, Peruvian, and Brazilian cuisine. Bite into tacos al pastor, ceviche, and feijoada, and experience the lively atmosphere of Latin American flavors.
  • Saint-Laurent Boulevard: Known locally as “The Main,” Saint-Laurent Boulevard is a vibrant strip that cuts through multiple neighborhoods. It offers a diverse array of restaurants, including Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, and Haitian establishments.

Exploring Montreal’s ethnic cuisine hotspots allows you to embark on a global culinary adventure without leaving the city. From authentic flavors of Asia to the rich traditions of Europe and the vibrant spices of the Americas, you can satisfy your cravings for diverse and delicious international fare.


Trendy Cafes and Brunch Spots

Montreal is known for its vibrant coffee culture and trendy brunch scene. Whether you’re in need of a caffeine fix or looking to indulge in a leisurely brunch, the city is home to an array of stylish cafes and brunch spots. Here are a few popular ones to check out:

  • Tommy Café + Apéro: With its chic interior and Instagram-worthy decor, Tommy is a go-to spot for coffee lovers. Sip on expertly brewed coffee or enjoy a refreshing cocktail at this trendy cafe in the Old Montreal neighborhood.
  • Dispatch Coffee: Offering a sleek and modern setting, Dispatch is a staple in Montreal’s coffee scene. They roast their beans in-house and take pride in serving high-quality and ethically sourced coffee. Don’t miss their delectable pastries and sandwiches.
  • Arthurs Nosh Bar: This Mile End gem takes brunch to the next level with its Jewish-inspired menu. Indulge in classic dishes like bagels with lox, latkes, and matzo ball soup, all made with love and attention to detail.
  • Arts Café: Located in the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood, Arts Café is a cozy and artistic space where you can enjoy a delicious brunch. Their menu offers a mix of sweet and savory options, from fluffy pancakes to hearty eggs Benedict.
  • Sparrow: This quaint café in Mile End is known for its excellent coffee and comforting brunch fare. Try their avocado toast, fluffy pancakes, or their famous “Breakfast Poutine” – a twist on the classic dish with poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and potatoes.

These trendy cafes and brunch spots not only offer delicious food and beverages but also provide a stylish and inviting atmosphere. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or a brunch enthusiast, visiting these local hotspots is a perfect way to start your day in Montreal.


Food Markets and Street Food in Montreal

One of the best ways to experience the culinary delights of Montreal is by exploring its vibrant food markets and indulging in the delicious street food offerings. From fresh produce and local specialties to mouthwatering snacks, here are some must-visit food markets and street food spots in Montreal:

  • Jean-Talon Market: Located in the Little Italy neighborhood, Jean-Talon Market is a food lover’s paradise. This bustling open-air market showcases a wide range of vendors offering fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and baked goods. Sample local specialties like maple syrup, Quebec cheeses, and smoked meats from various stalls.
  • Mile End Food Tour: Embark on a food tour in the vibrant neighborhood of Mile End to discover the local food scene. Taste Montreal-style bagels, artisanal cheeses, Jewish deli specialties, and more, while learning about the history and culture of this eclectic neighborhood.
  • Food Trucks at the Olympic Park: The Olympic Park hosts a gathering of food trucks during the summer months, offering a wide variety of cuisines. From gourmet burgers and tacos to Korean barbecue and sweet treats, you’ll find a multitude of delicious options to satisfy your cravings.
  • Atwater Market: With its picturesque location along the Lachine Canal, Atwater Market is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Explore the stalls filled with fresh produce, artisanal products, and international delicacies. Don’t miss trying the famous Quebecois dish, tourtière, at one of the local bakeries.
  • Street Food Festivals: Montreal hosts various street food festivals throughout the year, showcasing a diverse range of culinary delights. From poutine festivals to food truck gatherings, these events are a great opportunity to try a wide array of delicious street food offerings from different cuisines.

Exploring the food markets and savoring street food in Montreal allows you to immerse yourself in the local gastronomic culture. Whether you’re picking up fresh ingredients, enjoying a quick bite from a food truck, or sampling local specialties, these experiences will undoubtedly satisfy your taste buds and provide a glimpse into the vibrant culinary scene of Montreal.


Local Food Festivals and Events

Montreal is a city that loves to celebrate food, and throughout the year, it hosts an array of exciting food festivals and events. These gatherings showcase the diverse culinary culture of the city and offer a chance to indulge in delicious food and drinks. Here are some notable food festivals and events to look out for in Montreal:

  • Montreal en Lumière: This winter festival combines art, music, and gastronomy. One of the highlights is the “Dining Experience” where renowned local and international chefs create culinary masterpieces in collaboration with local restaurants.
  • Just for Laughs Food Fest: This comedy festival also features a food component where food vendors, local restaurants, and celebrity chefs converge to offer gourmet street food and special menus. It’s a perfect blend of laughter and delectable food.
  • YUL EAT Festival: Celebrating the city’s vibrant food scene, YUL EAT brings together local chefs, food artisans, and culinary enthusiasts. This festival offers a wide range of food experiences, including workshops, cooking demonstrations, and tasting sessions.
  • Pizza Fest: If you’re a pizza lover, this festival is a dream come true. Pizza Fest brings together pizzerias from all over the city to showcase their unique creations. From classic Neapolitan-style to innovative toppings, indulge in slices of cheesy goodness.
  • Taste of the Caribbean Festival: Immerse yourself in the flavors and rhythms of the Caribbean at this vibrant festival. Sample dishes from various Caribbean cuisines, enjoy live music performances, and experience the vibrant culture of the islands.

These are just a few examples of the diverse food festivals and events that take place in Montreal. The city’s dynamic culinary scene ensures that there is always a festival or event happening to satisfy every type of food lover.


Vegetarian and Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

For those following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, Montreal offers a plethora of options when it comes to dining out. The city has embraced plant-based cuisine, making it easy to find delicious and satisfying vegetarian and vegan meals. Here are some notable vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Montreal:

  • LOV: With multiple locations throughout the city, LOV is a trendy and stylish restaurant that specializes in vegetarian and vegan dishes. Their menu features creative and flavorful plant-based options with a focus on local and organic ingredients.
  • Crudessence: This raw vegan restaurant is a pioneer in Montreal’s vegan scene. They offer a diverse menu of raw and cooked vegan dishes, using organic and locally sourced ingredients. Don’t miss their famous raw desserts and cold-pressed juices.
  • ChuChai: For those craving Thai cuisine, ChuChai offers an extensive vegetarian and vegan menu. They skillfully create flavorful dishes using tofu, vegetables, and aromatic spices, ensuring a satisfying and authentic Thai dining experience.
  • La Panthère Verte: This plant-based café focuses on healthy and nutritious options. They offer a variety of vegan dishes, including hearty bowls, sandwiches, and smoothies, made with fresh and organic ingredients.
  • Sushi Momo: Sushi Momo is a vegan sushi restaurant that showcases the creativity of plant-based cuisine. They use innovative ingredients like tofu, tempeh, and seasonal vegetables to create delicious and visually stunning sushi rolls.

These vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Montreal demonstrate the city’s commitment to catering to diverse dietary preferences. Whether you’re a strict vegan or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, these restaurants offer a wide range of flavorful and satisfying options.


Dessert and Sweet Treats in Montreal

No culinary journey in Montreal is complete without indulging in its delectable desserts and sweet treats. From decadent pastries to mouthwatering ice cream, the city is a paradise for dessert lovers. Here are some must-try dessert spots in Montreal:

  • Les Givrés: This beloved ice cream shop serves up unique and delicious flavors using organic ingredients. From lavender honey to matcha green tea, their ice cream creations are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
  • Pâtisserie Rhubarbe: Known for its elegant and delicious pastries, Pâtisserie Rhubarbe is a go-to destination for dessert enthusiasts. Treat yourself to their exquisite tarts, cakes, and delicate macarons.
  • Juliette et Chocolat: If you’re a chocolate lover, Juliette et Chocolat is a must-visit. Indulge in their decadent chocolate desserts, such as their famous chocolate fondue, brownies, and rich hot chocolate.
  • Fous Desserts: This cozy and charming bakery specializes in classic French pastries with a twist. From flaky croissants to fruit tarts and creamy éclairs, Fous Desserts is a haven for pastry enthusiasts.
  • Cacao 70: Known for its sinfully delicious chocolate creations, Cacao 70 offers a wide range of indulgent desserts. From rich chocolate fondue to heavenly crepes and decadent milkshakes, there’s something for every chocolate lover.

These dessert and sweet treat destinations in Montreal showcase the city’s dedication to creating tantalizing and memorable culinary experiences. Whether you have a weakness for ice cream, pastries, or chocolate delights, exploring these delicious offerings will leave you with a lasting sweet sensation.



Montreal is a city that captivates the senses with its vibrant and diverse food scene. From popular dining neighborhoods to hidden gem eateries, fine dining establishments to food markets, and street food to sweet treats, Montreal offers a culinary adventure like no other.


Exploring the city’s popular dining neighborhoods like Plateau-Mont-Royal, Old Montreal, and Mile End allows you to discover a variety of flavors and cuisines. Trying iconic Montreal dishes such as poutine, Montreal-style bagels, and smoked meat sandwiches immerses you in the local culinary culture.


The city also celebrates the rich flavors of ethnic cuisines, with neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little India offering a taste of global dishes. From street food festivals to lively food markets like Jean-Talon and Atwater, Montreal’s vibrant food culture is a true gastronomic delight.


Montreal caters to all dietary preferences, with a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants offering delicious and satisfying plant-based options. And of course, no visit to Montreal is complete without indulging in the city’s decadent desserts and sweet treats at renowned establishments like Les Givrés and Pâtisserie Rhubarbe.


Whether you’re a food enthusiast, a culinary adventurer, or simply someone who enjoys a good meal, Montreal promises to satisfy your palate and ignite your taste buds. With its world-class restaurants, hidden gems, and a wide range of international flavors, Montreal truly deserves its reputation as a food lover’s paradise. So, come hungry, explore the city’s diverse culinary landscape, and embark on a unforgettable food journey in Montreal.